Source: Cincinnati Zoo
CINCINNATI, Oh. (WTVQ / Press Release) – The new hippopotamus on the block at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 18-year-old Tucker, made two new friends today! The other hippos, the world famous Fiona and her mother Bibi, were allowed to share the same pool with him today and all showed the behaviors that the care team wanted to see.
“We had planned to just let Tucker explore the outdoors today and we wanted to introduce him to Bibi tomorrow and Fiona on Wednesday,” said Christina Gorsuch, animal care director at Cincinnati Zoo. “But Tucker seemed right at home at the pool, and the girls were talking inside to show their interest. So we followed their example and brought all three out together. “
The hippopotamus team observes interactions all day and is happy with how it went. The habitat was closed to the public for introduction but will reopen if things continue to go well. That can be today, tomorrow or later the next day. Updates will be posted on CincinnatiZoo.org and the zoo’s social channels.
Tucker came to Cincinnati from San Francisco earlier this month and has since grown used to his new surroundings.
“The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Hippo Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommended that Tucker move to Cincinnati to be Bibi’s companion and enjoy being part of a hippo group. If there is a baby in their future, it will be a long time before that happens, ”said Gorsuch. “At the moment, all three hippos seem to have made positive social connections.”
While hippos are not considered endangered, they share ecosystems with many endangered species, including elephants and rhinos. As an indicator species, the plight of the hippopotamus can provide information about the challenges other species are facing in their homeland. Addressing problems at the ecosystem level will help the other species that live in the same regions.